Emily Berry (b. 1981, London), editor of The Poetry Review, is shortlisted for her second book, Stranger, Baby. It addresses, she says ‘the long shadow cast by the loss of a mother in childhood – my own loss’.
Her first book, Dear Boy, won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection in 2013. That book focused on eerie, elliptical narratives and askance, lively interactions with the discourse around mental health, gender, domestic (dis)harmony and psychoanalysis.
Stranger, Baby drives those strategies into a more personally intimate space. ‘There are’, she says, ‘a lot of other people’s words in the book alongside my own. So it’s lonely but it’s also companionable.’